Editor’s Note: This post first appeared on T+T back in 2014, and two years on, thin is still an important frontier of excellence in watchmaking. Bulgari is pushing the boundaries of just how slender minute repeaters and tourbillons can get, while over in Germany, Nomos has developed their own slender workhorse of a movement. But Piaget is still the clear leader of the pack, and it never hurts to remind yourself of just how thin these watches really are.
Thin is in. In fact we’ll go so far as to say that thin is the big new watch trend, especially in the gospel according to Piaget.
Brands are now demonstrating their technical know-how in a race to use as little space as humanly, or mechanically possible. And one of the leaders in this game is the refined team over at Piaget.
Their Altiplano Ultra-Thin, is currently the world’s thinnest automatic watch, regaining the title from the other kings of thin, Jaeger-LeCoultre. It measures in at a super-slim 5.25 millimetres. That’s the entire watch mind you. Not just the 1208P movement (that’s a grand total of 2.35mm thin).
And this isn’t even their thinnest watch – that honour goes to the manually winding Altiplano 900P (an extraordinary 3.65mm thin) which manages to integrate the movement, dial and case into one cohesive element. Very clever stuff.
However, it must be said that thin isn’t for everyone. It takes a certain wrist to pull of the look. Can you imagine Sly and the gang from the Expendables rocking Altiplanos? No. Neither can we. They’d probably snap them, just by reaching for a cup of coffee. But even Arnie would admire the technical mastery required to achieve this sort of thinness.
To visualise just how thin this time-telling machine is we’ve put together a quick list of household objects that are just as thin.
5 things that are as thin as the Piaget Altiplano.
NUMBER 5: 52 (and a half) sheets of copy paper.
On which we could write love poems to the beauty of the Altiplano.
NUMBER 4: Not as thick as a couple of two dollar coins (6.4mm thick)
You’ll need a few more than two to be able to buy one though.
NUMBER 3: A little bit thicker than two SD cards (4.2mm)
We’d fill them up with gorgeous photo’s of blink and you’ll miss them thin watches.
NUMBER 2: 1.75 millimetres thinner than the current iPad Air (7.5mm)
Actually, that’s pretty impressive.
NUMBER 1: Just over 5 Time+Tide business cards.
Thin watch, thick card stock.